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WageWorks Postpones Initial Public Offering After Market Rout

WageWorks Inc., the provider of human-resources services for companies including Ford Motor Co. (F), postponed its planned initial public offering amid global market turmoil.

WageWorks had planned to raise as much $52 million by selling 5.77 million shares, according to regulatory filings. The San Mateo, California-based company delayed its pricing last week after U.S. stocks posted their largest daily drop in more than two years.

This is at least the fifth U.S. IPO to be postponed or withdrawn this week, after stocks sank on concern over a cut to the U.S. credit rating and Europe’s spreading sovereign debt crisis. Less than a week ago, WageWorks lowered its price range as much as 43 percent, after initially seeking a valuation more than five times its peers.

WageWorks, whose services allow a company’s employees to set aside pretax wages to pay for health-care and commuting expenses, had planned to price the IPO at $8 to $9 a share as of Aug. 4. Credit Suisse Group AG and William Blair & Co. were leading the offering, according to regulatory filings.

Sales at WageWorks, which has 37 Fortune 100 clients, rose 20 percent in the six months through June to $69.2 million from a year earlier, primarily because of takeovers, the company said in its filing. Full-year sales in 2010 climbed 6.1 percent to $115 million.

To contact the reporter on this story: Lee Spears in New York at lspears3@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Jennifer Sondag at jsondag@bloomberg.net.

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